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Science In Uni - Give Grants

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Not enough engineers and scientists in Uni.

Far too many arts degrees leading to graduates with no prospects of a career in that field.

Time to provide grants for one and tax the other?

Our future prosperity depends upon real careers in real science and engineering fields.

Discuss...

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Our future prosperity depends upon real careers in real science and engineering fields.

That would probably be more convincing if companies weren't outsourcing those jobs to India and China...

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In the mass produced world we live in today, how many engineers does a major multinational need to design a new toaster or tv for example?

The reduction of unique companies reduces the demand for some jobs. Its called consolidation.

Nope, that's complete cobblers. You don't need engineers to 'design' a toaster true, but you do need them for lots other things. A quick list: Electronic gadgets (hardware & software), Nuclear power, aerospace, renewable energies, cars (engine, chassis, aerodynamics, safety, interior materials etc.), production lines (designing them), pure software (games, CAD, medical), nano-tech. The list is very long.

There is more than enough potential 'demand' for engineers/scientists there, if it wasn't being outsourced. There always will be as new technology comes around and old technology needs maintaining. Except, if we don't have the skills anymore we'll have to rely on a third party and then we'll find that we're on the wrong end of a weak negotiating position...

But this outsourcing thing has been done to death before.

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Not enough engineers and scientists in Uni.

Far too many arts degrees leading to graduates with no prospects of a career in that field.

Time to provide grants for one and tax the other?

Our future prosperity depends upon real careers in real science and engineering fields.

Discuss...

This has been the case for a very long time. And the issue is now coming to a head as the boomers retire.

Most UK degree trained engineers have either gone into the city or IT, and in general the salaries have been good, and for the very best such as top quants they have been as high as £300k-500k. 

As the boomers retire, I predict we we will see salaries for design engineers top £100k, as long as the Government doesn't keep allowing in migrants.

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This has been the case for a very long time. And the issue is now coming to a head as the boomers retire.

Most UK degree trained engineers have either gone into the city or IT, and in general the salaries have been good, and for the very best such as top quants they have been as high as £300k-500k.

As the boomers retire, I predict we we will see salaries for design engineers top £100k, as long as the Government doesn't keep allowing in migrants.

Its beginning to happen from the late 90s onwards, I saw a lot of the brightest graduate Engineers head off towards the city, chasing the big money and have probably done very well for themselves).

Now we have a huge vacuum of experience Design Engineers in their late 30's to 50's and as a consequence some projects are being staffed by 60 & even 70 year olds, dragged out of retirement due to the lack of '\ available experience. If you have a pulse and can work a calculator (I've even seen a slide-rule, I kid you not), then you're in.

This vacuum will be filled by the developing countries, but not just yet. There is a huge wave of Engineers being created there, but they are young and need direction (i.e. there are very few old experienced Chinese Engineers, and you can thank Chairman Mau for that). It would seem that the UK will combat this with burger flipping media studies graduates.

Consequently the experienced Engineer can command bigger wedge at the moment, particularly if can get paid in something other than GBP. Foreigners seem to value Engineers it would seem

Edited by Captain Cavey

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Does it? If the economy becomes more art based in the future would the current number of art students benefit the future demand?

Paint your way out of the recession?

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In the mass produced world we live in today, how many engineers does a major multinational need to design a new toaster or tv for example?

The reduction of unique companies reduces the demand for some jobs. Its called consolidation.

Yeh the whole idea of expecting a job these days in a particular field is a joke in my opinion. People should be learning how to be self-sufficient by learning skills to do business for themselves instead of being slave labour for a big corporation.

Considering a company like Next, the retail chain, have their head office in China instead of the UK is a double insult to our country. Firstly they avoid tax by keeping their main operations abroad so they can hide their real costs and secondly they are using cheap Chinese labour instead of UK labour for their main office except some specialist jobs like the clothes designer.

It will only get worse as time goes on, as everything becomes more efficient and consolidates. One of the paths of consolidation and efficiency is via the internet which is why i focused on becoming skilled in this area.

Edited by Saberu

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This vacuum will be filled by the developing countries, but not just yet. There is a huge wave of Engineers being created there, but they are young and need direction (i.e. there are very few old experienced Chinese Engineers, and you can thank Chairman Mau for that). It would seem that the UK will combat this with burger flipping media studies graduates.

Consequently the experienced Engineer can command bigger wedge at the moment, particularly if can get paid in something other than GBP. Foreigners seem to value Engineers it would seem

China is an engineers dream though, in that China has a shed load of money and it is not yet controlled by accountants yet.

So while in the UK an ambitious project will be proposed the accountant will say no killing it stone dead...

In China if it adds prestige to the CCP then quite often they will say yes and or pump money in to research the idea some more.

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China is an engineers dream though, in that China has a shed load of money and it is not yet controlled by accountants yet.

So while in the UK an ambitious project will be proposed the accountant will say no killing it stone dead...

In China if it adds prestige to the CCP then quite often they will say yes and or pump money in to research the idea some more.

Indeed – just about everyone of the Chinese politburo is an Engineer, even Hu Jintau is a Hydraulic Engineer (hence the ease of funding for big infrastructure & dam projects and universities training more of the same).

What have we got – lawyers & “political studies” experts.

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Doesn't look like the UK has a shortage of engineering graduates to me, why do we need to pay people to study it?

Engineering-Degrees.jpg

The teaching is good, that’s why there was/is a very high proportion of foreign students who take their skills back home.

…and as mentioned above, after graduation many UK Engineers left the profession and followed the smell of money wafting in from the city.

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Paint your way out of the recession?

Yep! What else are you going to do when there aren't any jobs...

So, let's see. We'll train a new cadre of ninja engineers who will devise ever more efficient ways of trashing the eco-system to turn low entropy stuff into high entropy stuff with a time to landfill measured in weeks rather than years. Who will devise ever more efficient ways of making more and more stuff with fewer and fewer people, thus putting more and more people out of work.

Phuqing brilliant. You couldn't make it up.

Meanwhile we could have a society in which people are taught to appreciate the value of things rather than the price. In which people learn to savour their intellectual and cultural inheritance. In which people make use of such gadgets as Kindles by using them to - heavens above! - read great books rather than devise ever more efficient ways to sell them to people who are too busy to read them.

It's a bummer when you can buy a copy of "War and Peace" and spend a month reading it for an outlay of just £15. Then give it away to a charity shop so some other arts student who clearly wasted their life can enjoy it too. When we should all be Stakhanovite Gradgrinds devising ever more efficient ways of selling people stuff they don't need and will never use. Trying to lock them into a never-ending cycle of upgrading gadgets they've barely learnt how to work.

Engineers make tools. What is the point of devoting so much time and effort to making tools that no-one has the time to make proper use of? This is a confusion of means and ends. The point of engineering is to produce useful things. The point is to make use of them; they are a means to an end, not an end in itself. Scientific knowledge is an end in itself, as already pointed out; so yes, let's train loads of scientists. As long as they promise like G H Hardy never to do anything that looks remotely likely to have a purpose.

Now back to work, you slaves. You aren't here to enjoy ourselves, to be stimulated or entertained, for your lives to be enriched by contact with the sublime and the beautiful. Your job is to devise ever more efficient ways to turn the natural world into manufactured sh!te, as fast as possible.

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We have a culture of not valuing academic science & technology in this country - and arts to for that matter, but that's a different story

It's been possible to earn a shedload as a generic manager, irrespective of technical skills, and that's what everyone over about 30 ends up doing.

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Not enough engineers and scientists in Uni.

Far too many arts degrees leading to graduates with no prospects of a career in that field.

Time to provide grants for one and tax the other?

Our future prosperity depends upon real careers in real science and engineering fields.

Discuss...

central planning doesn't work, comrade ringledman.

trouble is, all central planners think it could work if only they were in charge and allocating the resources.

i.e., you think that central planning of education would work if only you were in charge of allocating uni courses.

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Yep! What else are you going to do when there aren't any jobs...

So, let's see. We'll train a new cadre of ninja engineers who will devise ever more efficient ways of trashing the eco-system to turn low entropy stuff into high entropy stuff with a time to landfill measured in weeks rather than years. Who will devise ever more efficient ways of making more and more stuff with fewer and fewer people, thus putting more and more people out of work.

Phuqing brilliant. You couldn't make it up.

Meanwhile we could have a society in which people are taught to appreciate the value of things rather than the price. In which people learn to savour their intellectual and cultural inheritance. In which people make use of such gadgets as Kindles by using them to - heavens above! - read great books rather than devise ever more efficient ways to sell them to people who are too busy to read them.

It's a bummer when you can buy a copy of "War and Peace" and spend a month reading it for an outlay of just £15. Then give it away to a charity shop so some other arts student who clearly wasted their life can enjoy it too. When we should all be Stakhanovite Gradgrinds devising ever more efficient ways of selling people stuff they don't need and will never use. Trying to lock them into a never-ending cycle of upgrading gadgets they've barely learnt how to work.

Engineers make tools. What is the point of devoting so much time and effort to making tools that no-one has the time to make proper use of? This is a confusion of means and ends. The point of engineering is to produce useful things. The point is to make use of them; they are a means to an end, not an end in itself. Scientific knowledge is an end in itself, as already pointed out; so yes, let's train loads of scientists. As long as they promise like G H Hardy never to do anything that looks remotely likely to have a purpose.

Now back to work, you slaves. You aren't here to enjoy ourselves, to be stimulated or entertained, for your lives to be enriched by contact with the sublime and the beautiful. Your job is to devise ever more efficient ways to turn the natural world into manufactured sh!te, as fast as possible.

All true, but in fairness to the engineers/designers responsible for all that consumer tat: they are only giving people what they seem to want.

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Yep! What else are you going to do when there aren't any jobs...

...

Now back to work, you slaves. You aren't here to enjoy ourselves, to be stimulated or entertained, for your lives to be enriched by contact with the sublime and the beautiful. Your job is to devise ever more efficient ways to turn the natural world into manufactured sh!te, as fast as possible.

I think you have engineers confused with marketing and sales there. Many engineers will readily agree there is too much cheap tat made and sold in the world but they have to earn a living and that's what people want so watcha gonna do?

(Oh, and marketing and sales tend to be 'artsy' type people so there's blame to go around everywhere here.)

Many engineers would really like to work on projects to make power generation or transport or lots of things more 'green' but it's expensive work and unless someone is paying you (which not many people are prepared to do) you can't do anything can you? And who holds the purse strings?

What do you consider 'sublime and beautiful' anyway? It's an honest question because sometimes engineering is beautiful - the Millau viaduct, classic cars, the over-specialised machines like land speed record cars or F1 cars, aircraft etc. Just because you might not like those things doesn't mean other people can't.

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All true, but in fairness to the engineers/designers responsible for all that consumer tat: they are only giving people what they seem to want.

In which case we need to educate them otherwise - so we need more education in arts and humanities and less in technology generally. It'd be great to hear people discussing literature or ethics in the pub rather than yet another conversation about anti-virus software and how pretty one's latest iShite is, made by people who every now and then throw themselves off factory roofs as a silent reproach to Westerners obsessed with shiny shiny gadgets because they (the Westerners, that is) have confused the ownership of said gadgets with the good life.

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In which case we need to educate them otherwise - so we need more education in arts and humanities and less in technology generally. It'd be great to hear people discussing literature or ethics in the pub rather than yet another conversation about anti-virus software and how pretty one's latest iShite is, made by people who every now and then throw themselves off factory roofs as a silent reproach to Westerners obsessed with shiny shiny gadgets because they (the Westerners, that is) have confused the ownership of said gadgets with the good life.

You need to stop going to the pubs where the managers go then.

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I think you have engineers confused with marketing and sales there. Many engineers will readily agree there is too much cheap tat made and sold in the world but they have to earn a living and that's what people want so watcha gonna do?

(Oh, and marketing and sales tend to be 'artsy' type people so there's blame to go around everywhere here.)

Many engineers would really like to work on projects to make power generation or transport or lots of things more 'green' but it's expensive work and unless someone is paying you (which not many people are prepared to do) you can't do anything can you? And who holds the purse strings?

What do you consider 'sublime and beautiful' anyway? It's an honest question because sometimes engineering is beautiful - the Millau viaduct, classic cars, the over-specialised machines like land speed record cars or F1 cars, aircraft etc. Just because you might not like those things doesn't mean other people can't.

So how much autonomy do engineers have? Poor things, their urges to make interesting things suborned by all those nasty Artsy types who do the Sales and Marketing.

But seriously, I'm sure lots of engineers would rather work on the sorts of projects you mention. Only there aren't enough interesting jobs to go round, in any field. Which suggests that perhaps people should expect less from their work and put more into life outside of work. And here arts and humanities types have the edge, in theory at least, as it takes very little infrastructure to paint, sculpt, read, play a musical instrument, etc etc. And none at all to sit around and discuss. But valuing such low consumption lifestyles is anathema to capitalists, because there aren't enough opportunities to sell people more stuff, to make them feel that their lives are inadequate unless they can buy the latest shiny shiny stuff. Yes, that's right. TPTB hate arts and humanities because the values promulgated are not in line with capitalism. Hence they want to sell the myth that the only route to salvation on this earth is - more engineering, more business, more stuff, more money. People who think that the only way forward is more engineering and, as a corollary, more science, are buying into an ideology.

As for the sublime and beautiful, I don't disagree with you. But the things you mention haven't come about because the people involved are motivated primarily by money. The OP wants more science and engineering specifically as a way of increasing money and wealth, which I take to mean, boosting GDP. It's a matter of what you primarily value; doing whatever it is with soul and vision, which embraces the things you mention, or getting into some macho posturing competition with Chindians and Bricites because more stuff and more money is the way to the good life.

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You need to stop going to the pubs where the managers go then.

But engineers can't afford to drink in pubs until they become managers - or get jobs in the City! And then of course they talk about house prices...

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This has been the case for a very long time. And the issue is now coming to a head as the boomers retire.

Most UK degree trained engineers have either gone into the city or IT, and in general the salaries have been good, and for the very best such as top quants they have been as high as £300k-500k. 

IT is a engineering area, hardware and software, you know you can directly convert a c program into a silicon design?

I did Computer and Control engineering and work in IT. The vast majority of IT people have no relevant education and its not necessary that they do so either. Its rather odd that the tiny number of engineers the UK produce each year should somehow be forced to work purely in engineering, yet the 99.99 percent of the population who don't feel the right to go where money is best and the work is interesting. I studied engineering so that I could do what I wanted.

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The teaching is good, that’s why there was/is a very high proportion of foreign students who take their skills back home.

…and as mentioned above, after graduation many UK Engineers left the profession and followed the smell of money wafting in from the city.

Indeed, I work with some superb engineers; pity we all structure interest rate derivatives....

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The British hatred of engineers is a very similar pathology to our insanity over houses. They are both remnants of the class system, which exists because we didn't have a (proper) revolution.

The class system will reassert itself more and more as we move away from the post-plague experiment with capitalism and democracy, and return to a feudal society.

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  • 143 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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